Chemical and Engineering News 42(43), 4-5 (1964)
"Committee of scientists and engineers for Johnson and Humphrey"
C&EN acted properly in reporting the formation of the Committee of Scientists and Engineers for Johnson and Humphrey (C&EN, Aug. 24, page 21). I would also expect C&EN to report the formation of a committee for Goldwater and Miller, if, indeed, one comes into being. Perhaps the nonexistence of such a committee is frustrating to those who criticized you for reporting a political event.
Scientists have a social responsibility. It is news when a large group of scientists assumes that responsibility. The Pennsylvania Committee for Johnson and Humphrey has Republican, Democratic, and independent members. We are not taking a partisan position with respect to any local candidates.
As an information scientist, I would like to remind my fellow ACS members that Senator Humphrey has had a long and persevering interest in scientific information activities which is unique. Both he and President Johnson realize that the Federal Government has a responsibility to support scientific and medical research and that improvement in scientific communication facilities will make research more productive.
In the coming years, most scientists hope to see an increasing percentage of federal R&D budgets shifted from development to basic and medical research. Marshaling this nation's scientific and engineering talents for the task of prolonging human life is an important campaign issue. The Johnson-Humphrey position on this is clear. Goldwater-Miller have no position except a generalized opposition to federal spending of any kind.
It is a tribute to the many scientists and engineers engaged in weapons-oriented R&D that they are supporting President Johnson in spite of Administration efforts to change the present imbalance in R&D expenditures -- as reflected in the increased expenditures -- by NASA in space-medicine and by AEC in bio-medicine. If they were acting in pure self-interest, they would support the candidate dedicated to increased expenditures for nuclear and other weapons in spite of our present enormous capacity for overkill.